Mentoring is often just a matter of sharing what you know with someone who is interested in improving themselves.
Phil O’Neill has been on the air here in Australia and the UK for over 20 years now and during that time he’s been one of the leading announcers on pop and rock radio.
Now it’s time to give back.
I recently connected Phil with a young jock in Perth who wants his own national nights show and was looking for some advice on how he could achieve his goal. I told him to reach out to Phil because he’s not only one of the best night jocks in the country but he’s also incredibly generous with his time and happy to share his knowledge with others.
Here’s what Phil said to his young disciple.
Embrace the music and make contacts wherever possible. Listen to as many music stations as possible. Radio X and Radio 1 uk and Z100 and Kiss La are good, passionate music stations.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry. I’d been on air 13 years and had just turned 30 when it finally all fell into place for me. your “voice” and style will come naturally, but most importantly – be yourself. Be inspired by other people that influence you but trying to copy their style will only get you so far.
Also, don’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes. Go into an off air studio and play around with ideas. Record the stuff you want to do ( I understand that you have to keep it tight during your on air shift, that should remain your priority at this stage).
Be a fan of the music you play. I’m a big believer in being positive about all things. Shit canning, being sarcastic and trying to be negative may suit some broadcasters but if you want to build genuine affinity with your audience, they’ll respond and embrace positivity in the long run. Guys like Chris Evans at Radio 2 and Zane Lowe are great examples.
That extends to off air as well. Don’t get involved in negative gossip. Stay true to your plan and a way to get there , and it’ll all fall into place if you passionately follow your dream.
Feel free to send me an MP3 buddy. Good luck. P
Nice one Phil. You may be ugly, but not on the inside.